Saturday, September 19, 2009
Perrin's Report released! The People of Saskatchewan say NO to Nuclear, and so does the Green Party of Saskatchewan!
As the only political party that has been united in opposition to nuclear power throughout this entire process, the Green Party of Saskatchewan is the logical choice on September 21st for voters in Regina Douglas Park and Saskatoon Riversdale.
To view Dan Perrin's report on the UDP public consultations, click here.
No to Nuclear, Go with Green!
Strengthening our Communities to Improve Wellness
Green Party of Saskatchewan MLAs will begin with a focus on promoting wellness, rather than focusing on bandaging symptoms. We will provide the tools our community needs to ensure the wellness of each citizen. The Green Party recognizes that by meeting an individual’s basic needs there is less stress on our health care system, reductions in crime, and an increase in productivity. Treating people after they are sick only goes so far. Instead let's prevent illness before it takes hold. We believe this can be done through strengthened communities.
Green MLAs will help strengthen our communities and encourage wellness by:
· Focusing on preventative and holistic health care initiatives
· Implementing a province wide food charter
· Creating more affordable housing so that at least 50% of residents in the riding are able to own their home rather than 15%
· Providing free, publicly funded childcare, with fairly paid and competent staff, and increase the number of spaces in day care centres to at least the Canadian average
· The development of integrated community wellness centre such as Station 20 West that integrate local food, life long education centres, community-based businesses, alternative housing initiatives, community organizations, child care and birthing centres
· Promotion of community kitchens, nutrition education programs, organic gardens and compost to provide for the ongoing food and nutrition needs of citizens
· Supporting a restorative justice approach that focuses on developing healthy relationships rather than punishing behavior that has been learned through poverty
· Implementing a Guaranteed Livable Annual Income (See www.livableincome.org)
Green Party, Green Power! No to Nuclear. Go with Green.
We can meet the province’s energy needs with simple, clean, and affordable power instead of using expensive and dangerous technology to produce more than we need. The Green Party of Saskatchewan opposes plans for building a nuclear reactor in Saskatchewan and for turning the North into a nuclear fuel waste dump.
The Green Party of Saskatchewan is calling upon the Government of Saskatchewan to immediately fund and make public independent studies into the health and public safety risks and the environmental impact of nuclear power and uranium mining, and we join the people of Saskatchewan in calling for full feasibility studies into energy conservation and renewable energy technologies before any decision on the energy future of Saskatchewan is made.
· Nuclear power is fiscally unsound. The last nuclear power plant in Canada came in seven times over budget, costing $14 billion dollars. This does not include the high cost involved in decommissioning old power plants.
· Nuclear waste cannot be stored, treated, or disposed of safely and remains toxic for hundreds of thousands of years.
· A large amount of radioactive tailings accumulate as a result of uranium mining. These tailings can leak into groundwater and affect the surrounding area, leading to increased cancer rates.
· Depleted uranium ends up in weapons such as missiles and anti-tank bullets.
· Nuclear power is NOT emissions free. Large quantities of greenhouse gases are produced in the mining and refining of uranium as well as during the long construction period of the power plant.
The Green Party believes that energy choices should be economically rational. The best energy choices to respond to the climate crisis should be those that deliver the greatest reduction of GHG per dollar invested. By this criterion, nuclear energy is among the very worst options. Reactors cost billions of dollars, take more than a decade to build, operate unreliably after about the first dozen years of operation, and only produce one type of energy: electricity. Even if the industry were “green and clean” as claimed by the pro-nuclear propaganda efforts, it fails on the economics. Nevertheless, it is neither clean nor green.
· Green Party MLAs will push for an extensive energy conservation program and the creation and implementation of alternative methods of energy production.
· Green MLAs will advocate that SaskPower pay for all excess power production produced by private citizens, corporations, or co-operatives from renewable sources. The rate of reimbursement is to be at least the same as the commercial rate charged by non-renewable energy sources such as coal.
· A Green Party of Saskatchewan Government will end subsidies to all established nonrenewable energy industries, and transfer these funds to subsidize the purchase and development of renewable energy production by both small and large-scale producers.
· Green MLAs will advocate for the development of a province wide Smart Grid to increase the efficiency of power transmission and take advantage of increased renewable energy production.
· Green MLAs will introduce legislation to ensure that all new houses and housing developments be designed to take advantage of Saskatchewan's abundant passive solar potential, including mandatory installation of solar hot water heaters, solar air heater and hot water heat recovery systems on all new houses, and mandatory installation of digital electrical control panels (ie. a Green Switch) that readily shows individual energy consumption as well as gives the ability to easily turn off all unnecessary power, in all new houses. Green MLAs will also work for the development of a program to retrofit all existing houses in Saskatchewan with such devices.
Spending billions of dollars on costly nuclear power would rob Saskatchewan of the chance to go green with clean and safe energy through increased energy conservation and renewable energy technologies. We only get one chance to fight climate change. We must not miss this chance to go green and to go renewable.
Restoring Democracy by Fixing our Electoral System
The Green party of Saskatchewan recognizes that we must fix the existing democratic deficit in Saskatchewan by changing our electoral system to be more proportionate - so that every vote counts. Our “first-past-the-post” voting system is outdated and is failing to produce results reflective of the general public. We have a “winner-takes-all “ electoral system that is leaving many voters without representation in government. Democratic politics has evolved significantly in Canada and in Saskatchewan, yet our voting system has stayed the same. Both federally and provincially, our voting system was designed for a two party system, but many political parties now represent the interests of Canadians and the voters of this province, not just two. An electoral system of proportional representation would make every vote count. The percentage of seats a political party would receive in an election would be based on the percentage of the popular vote that party receives. Governments elected by proportional representation reflect the priorities of all voters instead of just those who voted for the “winning” party.
Our current electoral system turns candidates and political parties into competitors instead of colleagues. It is hard to get work done in government under these pretences. If we are going to take concrete action on climate change, elected representatives will have to cooperate, and so will every province in this country and every country in the world. Proportional representation would reduce the overly partisan nature of our current political system that tends to make cooperation difficult. An electoral system of proportional representation would encourage collaboration and compromise so that elected representatives can stop fighting and can start taking action on the environment. It is time to put an end to democratic bankruptcy; it is time to restructure our electoral system to be proportionate.
· Green Party of Saskatchewan MLAs will work for the adoption of legislation that will discard the “first-past-the-post” electoral system and replace it with a more democratically representative electoral system based on "proportional representation”.
· Green MLAs will also work for the adoption of legislation that will limit contributions to political parties to individuals.
· Green MLAs will advocate for increased public funding support of the electoral process by giving a grant to Saskatchewan’s official political parties equal to a minimum of $1.00 per vote received by the party in a provincial election. The grant would be subject to increase with inflation.
· As a first step to creating more democratic participation in our decision-making process, Green MLAs will advocate to lower the legal age for voting in provincial, municipal and school board elections in Saskatchewan to 16 years of age.
Democratic bankruptcy Þ Proportional Representation is the solution.
Post-Secondary Education: Tuition should not be a debt sentence.
The Green Party of Saskatchewan believes that tuition should never be a barrier to education, and tuition should not be a debt sentence. Students should have a healthy, sustainable future, and students should be heard and not ignored by government. Students need to be part of the political dialogue. The Green Party of Saskatchewan recognizes that our universities are hubs of innovation and creativity, and we also recognize that the high cost of tuition is a major barrier for many people in Saskatchewan who would otherwise pursue post-secondary education.
Green Party of Saskatchewan MLAs will advocate for the restoration of adequate public funding to Saskatchewan's universities. The corporate sector's growing stranglehold on universities shall be eliminated.
All qualified citizens of Saskatchewan are entitled to free higher education, as they are to health care and secondary education. The Green Party of Saskatchewan will phase out post-secondary tuition for all academically qualified residents over a four-year period once we form government. This will also extend to academically qualified Graduate students who are residents of Saskatchewan.
Green Party of Saskatchewan MLAs will immediately begin a dialogue with existing First Nations and Métis Nation communities and organizations in order to explore and address the issues associated with inherent First Nations and Métis rights, including rights to land and resources, as well as discussing urban and taxation issues.
In the interests of creating a more just society, the Green Party of Saskatchewan declares its belief that the full letter and spirit of Treaties signed between the Crown and First Nations in the past be respected and fulfilled by present governments at all levels. A Green Party of Saskatchewan Government will regard historic treaties made with First Nations as a bridge from the past to the future, knowing that all Saskatchewan citizens are the beneficiaries of these treaties and the quality of our common future depends on co-operation and mutual respect.
Green Party of Saskatchewan MLAs will work for the adoption of legislation so that all resource extraction projects are assessed for environmental and social impacts in full consultation with the affected local First Nations and Métis Nation communities and other local stakeholders, and that a project only be allowed to go ahead if it adheres to the laws of ecological wisdom and benefits local First Nations and Métis Nation communities and other local stakeholders.
Green Party MLAs will be a voice in government for:
· The promotion of “treaty education” at all levels of our formal education system as well as through public information efforts.
· Increased support for First Nation language teaching and retention through the development of a teaching and retention resource centre.
· Taking action to immediately address the treatment of aboriginals in the Canadian justice system and to investigate and address the disappearance of aboriginal women.
· Promotion of aboriginal culture, language and history as a fundamental source of Saskatchewan identity.
· Sharing resource revenues with Aboriginal communities so as to finance development within First Nations and Métis Nation communities.
· Implementation of targeted programs to help prevent and treat Type II diabetes.
· Increased support and programmes for mentoring from elders to young people.
The Green Party of Saskatchewan recognizes that an effective health system requires that clean air, clean water, and healthy food are available to all Saskatchewan citizens. Green MLAs will advocate for preventative healthcare as key part of our healthcare system. We need a “health” care system, not a sickness system. Fostering preventative healthcare will greatly reduce sky-rocketing healthcare costs to the public purse and our growing dependency on pharmeceuticals while improving the lives of people all across this province. Preventative healthcare educational efforts are important tools for preventing H1N1 outbreaks in our communites as we face the risk of a pandemic.
Green MLAs will promote preventative health care policies that keep the residents of Saskatchewan healthy, fit and out of the hospital. · Ensure that every resident has a right to clean air, clean water, and safe, healthy food.
· Require greater involvement of people dealing with personal mental health problems in decision-making for all policy that affects their lives and communities.
· Endorse the Saskatchewan Medical Association’s call for a baseline health study of the entire population of Saskatchewan over a period of ten years at a cost of $10 million to, amongst other important uses, determine the health effects of a wide range of environmental pollutants, toxins, chemicals, as well as the health effects of mining industries on the workers and surrounding communities.
· Expand funding for youth and recreational sports programs to increase access and participation.
· Mandate and fund healthy food programs in schools while banning pop and junk food vending machines.
Green Party MLAs will:
· Support the 5 principles of Medicare: Public Administration, Comprehensiveness, Universality, Portability and Accessibility
· Promote preventative health care policies that keep the residents of Saskatchewan healthy, fit and out of the hospital.
· Advocate for the creation of birthing centers and invest in midwifery programs
· Invest in new forms of rural emergency health care such as helicopter ambulances.
· Ensure that every resident has a right to clean air, clean water, and safe/healthy, accessible food.
Be it resolved that the Green Party of Saskatchewan support a re-investment of public funds into the health care system to ensure that the five basic principles of the Canada Health Act -- universality, comprehensiveness, accessibility, portability and public administration -- are firmly upheld.
Community health centres
Be it resolved that the Green Party of Saskatchewan encourage as a model of primary service delivery, the expansion of community health centres that employ a salaried team of multi-disciplinary providers and are community-controlled.
Effective health system requires healthy environment
BE IT RESOLVED that a Green Party of Saskatchewan Government recognizes that an effective health system requires that healthy air, water and food is available to all Saskatchewan citizens.
Community voice for health policies
BE IT RESOLVED that a Green Party of Saskatchewan Government will create a democratic participatory process for an effective community voice in determining health policy at local levels.
Expanding health supports
BE IT RESOLVED that a Green Party of Saskatchewan Government will support the introduction of more community health centres, pharma-care, alternative medicine, dental care and home care.
Support preventative health care
BE IT RESOLVED that a Green Party of Saskatchewan Government will support preventative health care, considering social, economic and environmental factors.
Ambulance costs to be under medicare
Be it resolved that a Green Party of Saskatchewan Government will include costs for ambulance transportation under medicare when such transport is declared necessary by an attending physician; such declaration to be made before or after the use of the ambulance service.
Restore position of Provincial Dietician
Be it resolved that the GPS support the re-establishment of the Provincial Dietician position which was abolished by the Romanow / Calvert government.
Restore public health library
Be it resolved that the GPS would re-establish the provincial public health library for public education on health issues.
Support costs incurred by diabetics
Be it resolved that the GPS cover the costs of insulin to diabetics, with priority on a low-income needs basis and provide free chemical strips and swabs to all diabetics.
A New and Different Health Policy
A GPS government will follow policies based on prevention of illness, support for the five principles of Medicare, and the right of all to healthy food, clean water, clean air, good housing and a just standard of living.
Ecological Wisdom is a key Guiding Prinicple of the Green Party of Saskatchewan.
Human societies must operate with the understanding that we are part of nature, not separate from nature. We must maintain an ecological balance and live within the ecological and resource limits of our communities and our planet. We support a sustainable society that utilizes resources in such a way that future generations will benefit and not suffer from the practices of our generation. To this end we must practice agriculture which replenishes the soil, move to an energy efficient economy and live in ways that respect the integrity of natural systems.
A Green Party of Saskatchewan Government will:
· Implement groundwater monitoring to provide reliable information on water quality and levels in aquifers and their variability.
· Start monitoring water withdrawals from industry and irrigation.
· Begin to collect and analyze regional health care data looking for abnormal health trends so as to identify any environmental causes within the region.
· Ban the cosmetic use of pesticides.
· Create new provincial parks to aid in conservation efforts.
· Increase the provinces recycling capacity by investing in new recycling centers and developing an efficient rural recycling collection program.
· Begin a cumulative impact assessment of all oil and gas activity in the province to understand the impact this industry has on our wildlife, vegetation and residents.
· Require that before a permit for a new oil or gas well is granted, the company has decommissioned and reclaimed an inactive oil or gas well.
A Green Government starts with electing Saskatchewan's first Green MLA! On September 21st, vote Green. A voice of reason, a vote for change.
A grassroots policy plan for the environment:
Creating a Citizens Science Council
Green Party of Saskatchewan MLAs will advocate for the creation of an independent Citizens Science Council that will be charged with providing objectivity, accountability and transparency in the researching of industry claims.
Green Incentives & Vendor Responsibility
The Green Party of Saskatchewan supports the implementation of provincial Incentives for “green research” to be done on such topics as renewable energy, smart growth, energy conservation, and environmental restoration. Green Party of Saskatchewan MLAs will advocate that legislation be enacted requiring all vendors of common consumer goods to accept back the packaging and used goods for re-use, recycling or appropriate disposal and that such henceforth be the policy of the Green Party of Saskatchewan.
Enforce environmental protection laws
Green Party of Saskatchewan MLAs will work to review our justice system to ensure that laws will be enforced that protect citizens and the environment, and where inadequate laws exist, Green MLAs will introduce adequate legislation.
The Green Party of Saskatchewan takes the position that medicating the entire population through the water supply, especially with a controversial compound of dubious origins, is unwise and undemocratic. The Green Party of Saskatchewan resolves:
That the government direct the Department of Environment to detect and measure environmental fluorides and to trace them back to their sources.
The Green Party of Saskatchewan offers the following proposal:
That provincial infrastructure and other subsidies to multi-national mining and oil companies cease, and that any provincial involvement in these industries be dictated by the results of rigorous environmental impact studies and the net economic benefits returned to the people of Saskatchewan. Public debt would be measured against the royalty and taxation revenues from these sectors, as well as the benefits of similar public spending in other sectors.
Stop Export of Bulk Water
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Green Party of Saskatchewan legislate no new interbasin transfers of water or the bulk purchase of water for the purpose of export outside Saskatchewan.
Environmental Monitoring & Compliance
RESOLVED that the Green Party of Saskatchewan place this higher on its priorities and that more money, people and energy be put into making sure all data is collected, regulations are complied with and that efforts are made to clean up current environmental liabilities.
Support for Endangered Spaces Program
RESOLVED that the Green Party of Saskatchewan would support and work with other organizations for the designation and legislative protection for these lands, and
that the Dore-Smoothstone Area be one of those first designated protected areas.
BE IT RESOLVED that the Green Party of Saskatchewan supports the rights of the citizens of Saskatchewan and the world by declaring that:
1.water is a common heritage of human kind, and therefore
2.earth's fresh water belongs to all living species and therefore must not be treated as a commodity to be bought, sold and traded for profit as an economic good.
3.local human communities have the primary responsibility to guarantee that water is treated as a common heritage.
4.water is a fundamental human and social right, and therefore
5.the right to water in quantity and quality sufficient to life is an individual and collective inalienable right which cannot be submitted to any constraint of social (sex, age, income) political, religious or financial nature.
6.the cost to satisfy such a right for all must be financed by the collectivity.
7.water is essential to the security of our communities and societies and therefore,
8.its ownership, control, delivery and management belong in the public domain.
9.citizens must be at the heart of the decision process in water affairs.
10.water management policies must ensure social equity such as gender equity, public health and environmental equity.
(From a United Nations Declaration on Water Rights)
Deposit on plastic bags required
Be it Resolved that the GPS will develop and implement legislation to initiate a mandatory environmental deposit of 25 cents on every new plastic bag distributed in Saskatchewan. The funds generated by this deposit will be used to develop plastic bag reduction, collection, re-use, and recycling information, services, and programs across the province
Selective logging rather than clear-cut logging in forest harvest
BE IT RESOLVED that the practice of clear cut logging, where the natural forest is destroyed and replaced with a monoculture forest which is unsuitable for many of the plants and animals which need a natural forest for habitat, be replaced with selective logging, which is compatible with the natural ecosystem.
Apply precautionary principle to nano-technology
Be it resolved that before the release or introduction of any nano-particles into consumer products or nature, a full environmental / health impact assessment be conducted on each nanotechnology creation to determine if it could have negative impacts.
Resource Extraction and Development Policy - Impact Assessment & Consultation
BE IT RESOLVED that the GPS advocate that all resource extraction projects be assessed for environmental and social impacts, in full consultation with the affected local First Nations and Metis Nation communities, and other local stakeholders and that a project only be allowed to go ahead if it adheres to the GPS' principles and benefits local First Nations and Metis Nation communities and other local stakeholders.
RESOLVED that the Green Party of Saskatchewan support a ban on disposal of recyclables and encourage strong the recycling of such useful material in Saskatchewan and elsewhere.
Climate change policy:
A Green Government will
·Promote and support the development of energy conservation and renewable energy technologies, and programs to install these technologies for those that cannot afford to on their own.
·Reverse metering in both rural and urban areas, leading to an emphasis on wind, solar, biomass and geothermal energy sources.
·Increased funding for public transit.
·Building a high speed rail network between major urban centers. The reduction of heavy traffic loads will improve road conditions, and the better efficiency of railways will reduce emissions, benefitting the environment.
·Introduction of a carbon tax to help make alternatives more affordable.
A Green Government starts with our fitst Green MLA in Government. On September 21st, vote for Victor Becker Lau. No to Nuclear, Go with Green.
A grassroots policy plan for climate change:
Be it resolved that the Green Party of Saskatchewan support immediate action to reduce and limit the release of greenhouse gases in Saskatchewan.
Resolved that the Green Party of Saskatchewan support and extensive energy conservation program and the creation and implementation of alternative methods of energy production.
Oil Be it resolved that Green MLAs advocate that the province spend money on researching and developing alternatives to the automobile for mass public transport.
Be it further resolved that the provincial government end its subsidies to the oil industry, especially to oil mega-projects.
Reducing Car Ownership through Shared Access
BE IT RESOLVED THAT the GPS will:
• Officially recognize the key role of car-ownership in car -dependency, sprawl, and climate change, and develop programs to get the citizens of Saskatchewan to shift to various shared access alternatives.
• Work with the four basic shared- car-access industries (taxis, car-rental, ride sharing, and car sharing) to help them grow and to work seamlessly together to allow Canadians to see them collectively as an alternative to ownership.
BE IT RESOLVED THAT the GPS will maintain existing rail infrastructure and significantly expand and revitalize the rail system for transportation of both people and freight.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the GPS will shift a major portion of the funds currently being used for the expansion of roads and highways be transferred to the rail system and alternative transport.
Be it resolved that the green party calls for a moratorium to be put on all future oil development until a cumulative impact statement has been done that will put some kind of parameters on future developments that take place. This would include tar sands, conventional oil, methane field development and all other oil development.
RESOLVED that the Green Party of Saskatchewan work with other organizations to take immediate actions in Saskatchewan and Canada to set up structures that will support the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions in this province. These actions should be centred around energy conservation, renewable energy, low emission transportation systems, demand side management and support for employment transition programs.
Promoting green energy
BE IT RESOLVED that a Green Party of Saskatchewan government would enact and promote policies that would seriously address the problem of global warming and climate change including conservation measures as well as promote alternative green energy. As well, in view of the seriousness of this problem and the fact that time is of extreme importance, the Green Party of Saskatchewan act in such away outside of the government to promote activities that reduce greenhouse gas emissions and promote alternative green energy.
A green energy plan
BE IT RESOLVED that a Green Party of Saskatchewan Government would develop a Green Energy policy that protects the environment and creates sustainable and meaningful employment. This policy will place primary emphasis on energy conservation and the development of decentralized electrical generation from sources such as wind, solar, biomass, micro-hydro, and geothermal.
Making “Saskatchewan” Mean “Quality”A Green Party of Saskatchewan government will support a series of initiatives which would result in the creation of a “Quality Saskatchewan” program which will promote Saskatchewan agriculture, industry, products, institutions and communities nationally and internationally as being certified high quality, environmentally responsible and equity, public health and environmental equity.”
Publicly funded buildings
BE IT RESOLVED that the GPS will only approve funding for new public buildings that meet or exceed LEED building standards.
BE IT RESOLVED THAT the GPS will not support any ethanol production project that uses feed or food grains as its primary input for ethanol production.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the GPS will support the creation of ethanol using non-food or agricultural and forestry waste sources, such as cellulose, so long as the source provides a reasonable energy return on investment.
BE IT RESOLVED that the GPS will be involved in the education of the public through accessible information packages and services for retrofitting and construction of buildings as well as the available government grants.
Green Party of Saskatchewan MLAs will push for the creation of a special task force to establish a participatory process for developing a sustainable economic policy for Saskatchewan. The goal of a new policy is to cease treating Saskatchewan’s unique ecosystem and communities as commodities for the use and exploitation by both trans and multi-national corporations. The GPS recognizes that economic sustainability is dependant on ecological sustainability coming first.
The Green Party of Saskatchewan supports alternative economic systems that benefit all humanity and explore the potential option of worker-owned industries and businesses as one possible solution to the present economic dilemma. Green MLAs will advocate for Green Jobs such as installation and research of renewable energy and energy conservation technologies, and we will ensure a ‘just transition’ for all affected workers who make the transition from unsafe and sustainably unsound industries to clean, green, and safe careers.
A Green Government will:
· Move to implement "true" or "full-cost" accounting, whereby products and services are priced according to the positive or negative impacts they cause throughout their lifecycle. This will allow our society to make rational market choices that will guide the economy toward environmental sustainability.
· End subsidies to highly profitable industries such as oil and gas, and shift funding to encourage the creation and growth of small businesses and rural value adding industries.
· Place an emphasis on local and Canadian ownership and control.
· Provide start up loans to stimulate the creation and support of new consumer co-ops.
· Work to re-establish efficient railways in order to reduce the wear and tear on our road system caused by oversized trucks using under-engineered roads.
A Green Government starts with electing Saskatchewan's first Green MLA!
Other policy for a Community-based Economy:
The Green Party of Saskatchewan supports alternative economic systems that benefit all humanity and explore the potential option of worker-owned industries and businesses as one possible solution to the present economic dilemma.
Northern Employment Strategy
RESOLVED that the Green Party of Saskatchewan work to move Saskatchewan towards supporting self-reliance of northern residents through ecotourism, housing and low technology sustainable resource use.
Controlling multinational corporations
All multinational corporations operating within the borders of Saskatchewan be required to meet standards and obligations which include benefits for Saskatchewan and its people and the environment, as well as be shown,
that multinational corporation, not to be operating anywhere else in the world causing suffering or exploitation of people as well as be shown not to be damaging the environment.
This act would be known as the Responsible Corporate Citizen Act. Those multinational corporations shown not to be meeting the requirements of the Act would be forbidden from operating within the borders of Saskatchewan.
Promoting Local Economies
BE IT RESOLVED that A Green Party of Saskatchewan government would promote policies that favour local communities and their economies. Part of this policy would be promoting decentralization of such things as food production and energy. This policy would also favour family farms over corporate style farms which cause damage to the environment. Green Party of Saskatchewan policy would empower local communities so they could protect their wooden grain elevators and say no to giant hog barns.
Support for a “Quality Saskatchewan” Program
BE IT RESOLVED that the Green Party of Saskatchewan supports a series of initiatives which would result in the creation of a “Quality Saskatchewan” program which would promote Saskatchewan agriculture, industry, products, institutions and communities nationally and internationally as being certified high quality, environmentally responsible and economically sustainable products, institutions and communities.
Ensure corporate rights do not violate common good
Be it resolved that a Green Party of Saskatchewan government, while respecting the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, will review and modify past legislation so that private or corporate ownership power does not violate the common good.
Be it resolved that the green party oppose the adoption of the TILMA agreement and do
everything in its power to educate the public about its danger to democracy.
Be it resolved that the Green Party of Saskatchewan will work to maintain and preserve the rail road track between Saskatoon and Regina, specifically the portion that is planned to be demolished between Davidson and Regina.
A Community-based Economic Policy
A Green Party of Saskatchewan government will create a special task force to establish a participatory process for developing a sustainable economic policy for Saskatchewan. The goal of a new policy is to cease treating Saskatchewan’s unique ecosystem and communities as commodities for the use and exploitation by both trans and multi-national corporations. The GPS recognizes that economic sustainability is dependant on ecological sustainability coming first.
A Green Party of Saskatchewan government will require that all multinational corporations permitted to operate within the borders of Saskatchewan be required to meet standards and obligations which benefit Saskatchewan people and the Saskatchewan environment, and require that they be shown to not be operating elsewhere in the world in a manner causing suffering or exploitation of people or damage to the environment.
A Green Party of Saskatchewan government strongly supports the role of Crown Corporations where appropriate in the development of Saskatchewan and in providing essential services to Saskatchewan people, but will prohibit Saskatchewan Crown Corporations from investing their profits in out-of-Saskatchewan ventures unless it is in partnership with a Canadian firm whose primary role and operation is in Saskatchewan.
A Green Party of Saskatchewan government will oppose the private corporate ownership and control of natural resources now held by the Crown for the people of Saskatchewan.
Just transition policy
Be it resolved that the Green Party of Saskatchewan support the concept of just transition for all workers currently working in unsound industries and publicly discuss the concept of just transition as a way of taking workers into the new sustainable economy.
Be it resolved that the Green Party of Saskatchewan work with our labour allies to implement legislation pertaining to anti-scab provisions, pay equity and most available hours.
Be it resolved that the Green Party of Saskatchewan promote the rights of workers, and
Be it further resolved that the Green Party of Saskatchewan help to educate all Saskatchewan workers about their current rights.
Monday, September 14, 2009
The Importance of the Regina Douglas Park By-election
by John W. Warnock
September 12, 2009Act Up in Saskatchewan
Premier Brad Wall has called by-elections for Regina Douglas Park and Saskatoon Riversdale, to be held on September 21. The Regina election is of particular importance because Dwaine Lingenfelter has returned from Nexen oil corporation in Calgary, has won the contest for leadership of the provincial New Democratic Party, and is now seeking a seat in the legislature. Sitting NDP MLA Harry Van Mulligan resigned his safe NDP seat hoping that Lingenfelter could take his place in the legislature.
The question of nuclear power
The biggest political issue in the province over the past year has been the proposal by the Saskatchewan Party government to build a nuclear reactor to provide electrical power to the province and the Alberta tar sands. This proposal has the support of the Saskatchewan Power Corporation.
As Lingenfelter stressed in the NDP leadership debates, NDP governments have a long history of supporting uranium mining, the processing of uranium and nuclear power development, beginning with Tommy Douglas. Leading up to the NDP leadership campaign Lingenfelter had been touring the province promoting nuclear power and tar sands development.
During the NDP leadership campaign candidates Ryan Meili and Yens Pederson, representing the youth movement in the party, strongly opposed nuclear power while advocating a shift to conservation, solar and wind power. They also urged a return to the founding principles of the party, which emphasized a commitment to expanding the welfare state and eliminating poverty.
In contrast, Lingenfelter was a member of the inner circle of Roy Romanow’s NDP government, serving as Minister of Economic Development, Minister for the Crown Investment Corporation, Minister of Agriculture, and Deputy Leader. He won in Regina Elphinstone in 1999 but then resigned his position in the government and the legislature to take a high level position with Nexen Inc. Ironically, Nexen had acquired the Crown-owned Saskatchewan Oil and Gas Corporation, privatized by the Tory government of Grant Devine and the Romanow government.
Rising inequality and poverty
Paul Gingrich’s recent research for the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives shows the growing gap in income inequality in Saskatchewan between the top 10% of families and the bottom 50% of families. The gap expanded greatly during the period of the NDP governments of Roy Romanow and Lorne Calvert. Lingenfelter was a key player in the decisions to cut resource royalties, cut taxes on corporations, and lower the income taxes on those in the highest income brackets. Social assistance allowances were frozen and fell well below the basic needs level.
So there is a current major ideological divide in the NDP between the old guard, which has pursued a policy direction of social democratic neoliberalism, commonly associated with the UK Labour governments of Tony Blair and Gordon Brown, and the young members on the progressive left.
Where are the environmentalists?
The past year has seen a revival of the environmental movement in the province, led by the Coalition for a Clean Green Saskatchewan. This has been spurred by the popular opposition to nuclear power. The best estimates are that a power plant will cost a minimum of $10 billion. Many studies show that the green alternatives available would be much cheaper and result in the creation of more jobs.
In the meantime, since its origin in 1998 the Green Party of Saskatchewan has been strongly opposed to nuclear power and has promoted the soft energy alternative. They are attempting to make energy policy the primary issue in the two bye elections.
This is a test for the new environmental movement. In the past the environmental organizations and their leaders have been reluctant to criticize an NDP government. For example, in 1997 the Romanow government brought into the legislature a resolution strongly opposing the Kyoto conference on global warming and climate change and demanding that major polluting industries only be assessed voluntary guidelines for cutting greenhouse gas emissions. This resolution was unanimously passed by the legislature. Environmental groups remained silent.
Part of this is due to the fact that a great many of the leaders of the environmental movement have also been members and supporters of the NDP. What will they do in these bye elections? Sit it out and not vote? Vote for Dwaine Lingenfelter? Or will they put their principles first and get out and support the Green Party? So far they are sitting on the sidelines.
Green Party policy
At their press conference on September 11, the Greens released their platform for the bye elections. Aside from energy, the party is supporting the introduction of proportional representation, health care based on prevention, a public child care system, free tuition for higher education and a new partnership with Aboriginal people. Victor Lau, the candidate in Regina Douglas Park, stressed the necessity of providing affordable housing. Tobi-Dawne Smith, the candidate in Saskatoon Riversdale, argued that the elimination of poverty is as important an issue as nuclear power.
The RCMP and Lingenfelter
One other major issue came up at the Green Party press conference. What is the status of the investigation by the RCMP Commercial Crime Division into the complaint against Lingenfelter and his campaign team for fraud in the NDP leadership campaign? The media has widely reported the use of forgery and fraud in creating 1100 new party members. The campaign manager turned in $10,000 in cash in small bills to the NDP head office. The RCMP was to determine whether or not Lingenfelter was involved in these illegal acts and whether criminal charges would be laid.
The RCMP launched their investigation on June 11. It surely must be completed by now. Yet the RCMP has yet to release the report and announce the actions it will take. The Green Party promised to raise this issue with the Premier and the RCMP. It seems only fair that the voters of this province have an answer to these serious allegations before they go to the polls on September 21.
NOTE: John W. Warnock ran against Dwaine Lingenfelter in Regia Elphinstone in 1999 as a candidate for the New Green Alliance.
Thursday, September 10, 2009
Both candidates are advocating for a Guaranteed Livable Income. If the Government of Saskatchewan can propose spending billions on nuclear, the time has definitely come to eliminate poverty in Saskatchewan. With the release of Dan Perrins report on the UDP public consultations delayed until September 14th and the public release expected a few weeks following that date, this is the perfect time for voters in Regina Douglas Park to deliver a loud message to the Government of Saskatchewan: No to nuclear. Go with Green.
We need your help:
- Online Social Networking (assisting with facebook, twitter, flicker, etc.)
- Web Design /Web Mastering
All volunteers will receive Green Party of Saskatchewan t-shirts in the final week of the campaign to show our appreciation.
To make a donation to either by-election campaign, send cheque or money order payable to the Green Party of Saskatchewan to 2138 McIntyre St. Regina, SK, S4P 2R7
To request a lawn sign or to volunteer, contact: Victor Becker Lau, Candidate for Regina Douglas Park, at firstname.lastname@example.org Or
Larissa Shasko, Campaign Manager & Leader of the Saskatchewan Greens, at SaskGreenLeader@gmail.com
It’s time to do something about it. With your help, we can!
E-day Sept. 21st!
-- Vote for the Change You Want to See in the World. --